Saturday, November 07, 2009
The Appalling Betrayal of Feminism
I didn't want to write about these women again. It bothers me too much. I've already said what I wanted to say.
But the thought that so many appear to have forgotten them makes me so angry, I feel I just have to keep speaking out.
Or let people like Susan Riley say what I would say.
What a bitter spectacle: MPs from all parties, except the Bloc Québécois, caving to a decades-long campaign by disgruntled gun owners, to U.S.-inspired attack advertising in targeted ridings and to self-interest to issue a death warrant to the long-gun registry
They capitulated to a well-orchestrated disinformation effort, rather than fighting back with reasoned argument and proposed improvements to the existing registry -- rather, that is, than appealing to values, values they conveniently ditched to save their skins.
Dismissed, also, are the victims -- relatives of the women killed at the École Polytechnique, modern-day parents like Elaine Lumley, whose son was shot dead crossing a street in Montreal in 2007. Lumley was on the Hill this week, shocked and stricken by the vote -- but she couldn't get a hearing, perhaps because she doesn't fall into the Tories' approved victim category.
If they were more concerned with fighting crime than scoring ideological victories, our MPs would find a way to fix the registry, not ditch it. Instead, this week's reversal is a symbolic and emotional blow to victims of gun crime -- and a disgrace to their skittish supporters.
Because it's all so true. it is a bitter spectacle. And it is an appalling betrayal.
Not only are these ReformCons forgetting the women of the Polytechnique, they're stripping their deaths of meaning. And dismissing 20 years of heroic feminist struggle to try to make Canada a safer place.
By taking on the powerful gun lobby, and the women hating Cons who would turn Canada into a blood soaked mirror image of gun crazy Amerika.
Long guns are the most common type of firearm used in spousal homicide, according to the RCMP. With restrictions in place against them, the number of women murdered with firearms dropped by 62 per cent between 1991 and 2004.
So where are the progressive voices of protest? Where are all the strong feminists? Why the deafening silence?
Did these women really die in vain?
Did one of the most important feminist struggles in modern Canadian history really mean nothing?
Didn't we learn ANYTHING?
And what kind of country are we becoming?
Those are the questions that haunt me.
As they should haunt us all...